Middle School Reading Teacher Requirements

Mar 29, 2019

Learn the education, training and licensure required to work as a middle school reading teacher. Find out about the salary potential for this career, and discover some alternative careers in education.

Career Definition for Middle School Reading Teachers

Middle school reading teachers specialize in teaching reading and literacy to students in sixth through eighth grade. They work in private or public schools presenting curricula, directing activities, conducting tests, and providing proper discipline to middle school children.

Education Bachelor's in education
Job Duties Presenting curricula, directing activities, conducting tests
Median Salary (2017) $57,720 (all middle school teachers)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (all middle school teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most public and private middle school teachers must earn at least a bachelor's degree in elementary education and must complete supervised teaching practice. Though a master's degree is not necessary, a higher degree with enough experience can lead to a position of more responsibility and a more competitive salary. For example, supervisors, program directors, or school principals usually start as school teachers.

Licensure Requirements

Middle school teachers who work in public schools must be licensed or certified to teach. Licensure requirements vary by state but generally include completing a bachelor's degree, student teaching, and a practical exam. Continuing education is required to maintain a teaching license.

Required Skills

Inciting a love of reading in school-aged children is the number one concern for reading teachers in general. To get their students excited about learning, teachers need to be resourceful and may invent games, incorporate creative activities, and organize field trips.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for middle school teachers was $57,720 in May 2017. Middle school teachers may have opportunities to supplement their income by working with extracurricular programs where they coach, tutor, or provide assistance in after-school activities. The BLS projects about-average job growth of 8% for middle school teachers from 2016 to 2026.

Alternative Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Instructional Coordinator

Those interested in ensuring that the reading curriculum for middle school students is adequate might want to explore the career of instructional coordinator. Instructional coordinators may concentrate their work by subject area, such as reading, or by grade levels, such as middle school, and develop the curriculum and teaching methods for that area. Common requirements for instructional coordinators include a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and a teaching or educational administrator's license. The BLS reported that the median salary for all instructional coordinators in 2017 was $63,750, and those who worked in elementary and secondary schools had a median annual salary of $69,540. Jobs for all instructional coordinators are projected to increase by 11% from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.

Teacher Assistant

For those who prefer to work with small groups of students, the job of teacher assistant might be a good fit. Teacher assistants support the work of licensed teachers by working with students one-on-one or in small groups to reinforce lessons. While some schools may require an associate's degree for this career, others may only require a high school diploma. Teacher assistants need less education for their position than middle school teachers, but their median pay is also significantly less than that of teachers. In May 2017, the BLS reported that teacher assistants earned a median of $26,260. Jobs for these workers are expected to increase by 8% from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.

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